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My Cure For Winter’s A Big Pan Of Scouse!

Simon Bowers has been a GP in South Liverpool for 13 years. He comes to us each month to talk health. Follow him on Twitter @SIbowers
Simon Bowers has been a GP in South Liverpool for 13 years. He comes to us each month to talk health. Follow him on Twitter @SIbowers

THE temperature has officially started to drop and winter is coming (for the record, I was saying that before Game of Thrones made it popular).

It’s this time of year when people tend to crave food which is less healthy. To that I say ‘go for it – but do it in moderation.’

Yes, get a takeout when it’s freezing outside on a Friday night, but make it up to your body by going for an extra-long walk the next day. Binge eating is dangerous because it can easily become a part of daily life. There are loads of comfort meals which aren’t necessarily unhealthy but are filling – and they are cheap to make. Also, because we tend to make winter food in big batches (scouse, stew etc.) there’s usually some left over the next day for lunch!

It’s also the time of year when people exercise less due to cold weather. To this is say ‘get a grip and get out there’.

Throw on a hat and scarf and go for a walk. There are loads of well-lit areas in Liverpool to walk or

jog in when the nights are getting dark.

There are also hundreds of classes and activities taking place at sports centres, community centres etc. in all our neighbourhoods. Don’t let the winter time give you an excuse to hibernate and stop moving and socialising.

Good News Liverpool spoke to head chef Martin Simm at Castle Street Townhouse to get a scouse recipe which is lighter on the calories than usual.

Martin has crafted a Scouse recipe that offers a true taste of nostalgia and best of all it’s virtually guilt-free.


For Scouse (serves 4-6)
10ml olive oil
500g lamb shoulder (trimmed and diced)
3 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
1 leek finely diced
1/2 head of celery
6 cloves of garlic finely diced
4 shallots finely diced
3 carrots peeled and diced
4 Maris Piper potatoes peeled and diced
2 sprigs of thyme
4 litres of reduced beef stock
200ml of red wine
4 tablespoons of tomato paste
Salt and pepper to taste

For pickled cabbage
1/4 red cabbage
300ml red wine
100ml white wine vinegar
1 spoon of red currant jelly
100g sugar
1 stick of cinnamon
Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Seal lamb in a hot pan with oil and onion, leek, celery and garlic.
  2. Add Worcestershire sauce, red wine and reduce. Season meat then add tomato paste and stir.
  3. Add half of the reduced beef stock and cook out on a low simmer for 60 minutes. Always check the level of stock you don’t want it to boil dry. Stir occasionally.
  4. Add the rest of the stock with carrots potatoes and thyme. Cook out for a further 60 minutes. Check lamb is tender if it isn’t carrying on cooking.
  5. In a separate pan add red cabbage, sugar cinnamon and red currant jelly. Cook out until sticky consistency.
  6. Serve Scouse in a bowl with pickled red cabbage and fresh bread.

Don’t let Halloween be a horror

So it’s October – and everyone is talking about one of my least favourite days –  Halloween. It’s not so much the ridiculous amount of sweets kids are given which makes me dislike it. It’s the sight of adults getting all excited by ghosts and witches!

Sorry. That’s not very Good News, I know. It just makes me grumpy!

On the subject though, kids do get given a lot of sweets on Halloween.

Trick or treating is good fun for families, and even promotes physical exercise – but please don’t let the kids binge on sweets.

Don’t confiscate them, but moderate them. Sugar is not poison, it’s ok to eat it but just do it in moderation.

With the amount of goodies given out on Halloween, you can stretch them until Christmas and use them as treats.

Don’t make them a part of daily routine in the house hold – the bottom line is, they will rot your teeth and make you fat.

A great way to look after yourselfie

My family and I took part in the Liverpool selfie challenge in September and had a great time doing it. It was run by Liverpool City Council and was a he success.

The challenge was, to walk around the city and take selfies in 20 iconic Liverpool locations. We spent the day walking around city centre locations such as St Luke’s Church, Central Library, The Cathedrals and more. It’s great to give yourself time to appreciate how gorgeous this city is.

As well as this my six-year-old walked 12,500 steps!

I’d like to see Good News readers take part in a selfie challenge.

Take a photo of yourself doing something active like walking, cycling or whatever you fancy and tweet it to us at @goodnewslpool

I’ll pick a favourite and have it printed in the next issue!

Is cheddar better for bed time?

Dear doctor, does cheese give you nightmares?

This is kind of true… cheese won’t increase your chances of having nightmares necessarily, but it will make your dreams more vivid.

There is evidence that certain cheese can affect the kind of dreams you have. Research carried out by The Cheese Board (yes that’s a real organisation) showed that 85% of women who ate Stilton Cheese before bed had super-weird vivid dreams, feeling as if they had taken drugs of some kind.

There’s science behind it, but the basic reason is that there’s an acid in milk used in cheese which is important in the brain chemistry of sleep.

Maybe stick to the Red Leicester if you fancy an evening snack!





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